It’s that time of year again. Black bears have been spotted roaming in Central New Jersey in the last few weeks. The latest sighting of a black bear in our area was on Carter Road in Lawrenceville this weekend.
Black bears are native to New Jersey and have been seen in all 21 New Jersey counties. They are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of food including fruit, nuts, trash, meat scraps and more.
Following are tips to reduce bear related encounters:
- Secure your trash in bear resistant garbage containers or with tight fitting lids to reduce odors.
- Clean any food scraps from grills porches and decks, and keep meat scraps out of compost piles.
- Pets should not be fed outdoors unless absolutely necessary
- Immediately remove all uneaten food and bowls used by pets fed outdoors (NO food after dark).
- Never hang bird feeders in easy to reach locations (feeders should be at least 10 feet in the air).
- Put out garbage on collection day, not the night before.
- Wash garbage containers with disinfectant to remove odors.
- Secure beehives, livestock, and fruit crops with electric fence.
Residents should report bear damage, nuisance behavior or aggressive bears to the DEP Hotline at 1-877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337) or call the police department. Additional bear information can be found on the DEP website.